Community Stories

Keeping our waters clean, one fish at a time

July 02, 2019

Have you noticed a bright yellow fish painted above your community storm drain? It’s not graffiti – it’s a message about protecting our river.

For nearly ten years, The City of Red Deer has partnered with Trout Unlimited to offer the Yellow Fish Road program.

The Yellow Fish Road program is a fun, interactive education program where participants are provided with the opportunity to get out into the community and make a difference. This past May and June, 227 Grade 5 students from six schools in Red Deer, and 25 Boy Scouts eagerly participated in the program. Their excitement to spread the message was apparent by how much ground they covered: a total of 252 yellow fish were painted on storm drains and 1,659 educational door hangers were delivered. This excellent work has helped spread the “Only Rain in the Storm Drain” message to hundreds of Red Deer residents.

The Yellow Fish Road program also includes a presentation that teaches the importance of protecting our river and watershed. Participants learn how our activities on land can have significant impacts on the river. Rain water runs off the landscape and into the stormwater system, entering the river untreated. This means that activities such as using lawn fertilizer, spraying weeds and washing your car on the driveway all contribute towards polluting the river - impacting water quality and the overall health of the river.

By painting yellow fish near storm drains, handing out informational door hangers and picking up litter along the way, these young volunteers help spread this message to residents.

“I think the program is great. Kids learn about the environment and how to take care of it,” said one of the teachers involved.  “The hands-on activity is awesome and the kids really enjoy it. I have participated in this program twice and would do it every year if available.”

To learn more about the Yellow Fish Road program, visit

Yellow Fish Road 2